I’m Not Aiming for Nationals

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I’m not aiming for Nationals.

Some of you might have heard of the National Bible Bee. If you haven’t, it’s basically a competition where you memorize Scripture on a certain topic, and it’s kinda like a spelling bee in a very different way. Last year was the first year I did it, and I’m doing it again this year.

Last year, my biggest dream was to get to nationals. When that dream didn’t happen, I promised myself that this year I would work as hard as possible and get there. And get as far as was humanly possible.

If you had told me a year ago that I would not be doing my absolute best in the Bible Bee, if you had told me that I would be okay with not taking the test at the end, I would have told you that you were crazy.

Amie? Not doing her best? Amie, not putting in 110%? Amie, not killing herself to win a competition? Is she still Amie?

My whole life, I’ve been the most competitive, I’ve been the obsessive, workaholic, child who has ten projects all at once. The thought that one day I would decided to let a competition slide without throwing heart and soul into it is out of character for me.

But I’ve slowly been learning that giving 110% of your energy to ten different things gives you less reward than giving 35% of your energy to three important things.

And I’ve just lost my whole audience. 😂

Trying to give all of your energy and attention to everything is the quickest way to burn yourself out, and the best way to do a terrible job at everything. In life, we need to put all and everything into the most important parts. Of course, at times it can seem like everything is important, and that’s when having set goals helps us weed down the important things in life.

Memorizing God’s Word is so important to me. But winning a competition to prove that I’ve stored God’s Word into my heart? Not as important. Would I still love to compete and win? Absolutely.

But through prayer and just evaluating my end goals in life, spending 6+ months preparing and devoting most of my energy to this competition isn’t what I need to do with my time or life. So is that a dream? Yes. Is that a goal? No.

Dreams and goals can look very similar, but in reality, they’re very different. Two dreams of mine are winning the National Bible Bee and playing a certain character in an audio drama. Are they goals? Nope. Are they going to happen? Nope. What are my goals? Some of them are building this blog, publishing books, helping people and ministering to them. Am I working towards this? Yes. Is it going to happen? Lord willing, yes.

Goals are more concrete. They’re the things you should be putting all your time and effort into. They’re more solid, they’re things that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, doing despite setbacks, pain, and failure. If you simply have random dreams in your head, you most likely will never achieve them.

One of my favorite books is Ishmael by E.D.E.N. Southworth. In this novel, Ishmael is born illegitimately, and spends his childhood shunned by his neighbors and hated by his aunt. That sounds pretty bad, huh? But that didn’t set Ishmael back. He didn’t just pursue whimsical dreams (Oh, maybe someday I’ll be loved. Oh, maybe someday I’ll do something better than starve.) Nope! Ishmael had a clear goal, and he pursued the pathway to reach his goals, despite setbacks, personal emotions, injuries, and at times, discouragement.

Set your goals, and strive for them.

Perhaps you’ll reach your dreams while you do that.

~~Amie~~

Dreams

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Dreams

Sitting by the window, taking in what you can see, watching the raindrops as they flee, your heart swells as you realize, dreams aren’t free.

The breath stays inside you, as you wonder what it costs to dream for eternity. What is the price as we sit here and think, chasing the dreams that beg to stay with me?

Sometimes dreams seem closer in my life than all the real things that touch my mind. Dreams seem to laugh and play, encouraging all that I find.

Dew drops turned to gold, voices of tales long told, Food neglected, friends rejected, my dreams weave me down an objected path

To all that has been overlooked in the past. People wag their heads and say, “Someday, someday, this girl will wake up and see that the sun doesn’t shine all day.”

That day has already come, some have been with me when that day had thrown all my wildest dreams back in face, daring me to smile in spite of its ways.

And so, some people say that I’m a romantic, others declare I’m a realist, while some snicker and charge me as a cynic.

Ah, can’t they see? I am simply a disappointed dreamer, straddling the brink between reality and everything I dream.

They say that the world isn’t how it seems, no one can change it to their impossible dreams. They say I’m insane, simply because I don’t want it to stay the same.

Shh, don’t rebuke a dreamer’s rights. Shh, don’t yell at a doer’s tries. Yes, the leaders have to stay tight, but that doesn’t mean you have the right

To bash down our doors and yell in our face, to share our dreams and laugh at our disgrace, to wag your head as you scream and say

“Dreamers will never be worth their weight. Artist can no longer be the ones to save the crumpling earth, those tearing apart, or those who hide their pain in their hearts.”

I tend to disagree, for you see, dreamers see beyond the veil that realism has discovered and vowed to keep there. We can see tragedies without seeming in overwhelming degrees

That broken hearts are beautiful, that people torn apart have the chance to be whole again, that those who vow to never see, are stuck like that for eternity.

Dreamers won’t push you on your knees, we’ll simple smile when we see a kindred spirit wandering around, wondering if they’re as wacky as they sound.

Listen, lost dreamer, your soul is worth keeping. Listen, lost artist, don’t give up what you’re seeing. The world might reject your wonderful work

But there’s always people like you in the world, people who will find you if you don’t hide your soul.

Bare your soul, don’t give it up. Smile, and take rejection with one look.

Because, artist, dreamer, friend, you’ll be grateful in the end, when you realize that the world doesn’t have the last say,

And without dreaming, there wouldn’t be a way

For you and I to be here today.

~~Amie~~

P.S. I thought of a fun thing to do. XD I’m renaming my website Amie Anne, and I’ll be redoing the design as well. So here’s the link to the form to sign up. I would love it if you did join the party.

BIBPC 7 (Surprise!)

I’ve been chasing.

Some girls might struggle with chasing boys. Some might struggle with chasing self-worth. Some might struggle with chasing their friends.

Me?

Hah.

I struggle with chasing my dreams. I hold onto them with an iron fist, daring anyone to try to loosen my grip.

And God looks at me, and says, “Just watch.”

He doesn’t rip the dreams out harshly, or smash my little hands like He could. He doesn’t hit me when I struggle, like some people would. Instead, He loosen’s my hands slowly, and listens when I pitch a fit like a two-year-old.

He listens as I scream into my pillow late at night. He listens when I let the tears roll, and my rabbit lick them away. He’s there when all the pain has faded, and numbness is in its place.

He’s there.

He watches as I struggle to accept change. He watches as I cross my arms and toss my head, swearing I won’t give in. I won’t allow this to happen, because it’ll change everything.

And He waits, watching me slowly dry my tears and jut out my chin, telling myself that I’ll survive.

I’m tougher than change.

Not because of who I am. But of Who is in me.

Because God’s not only there, He’s sustaining me. He’s the one that whispers in my ear the verses of Scripture, reminding me that regardless of what changes, He never changes. It is He who wipes the tears from our eyes. It’s He that bore our sins and transgressions. Because of Him I won’t grow weary, but instead will soar as if on wings of an eagle.

Stop chasing.

And wait. Wait for it to come to you. And while you wait, deepen your relationship with your Heavenly Father, and you’ll never regret the time you spend resting instead of running.

~~Amie~~

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(My photo for surprise.)